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Obituary: Leonora "Lee" Peterson, 93

Jun 10, 2015 10:42AM ● By Kieran Gilman

TEWKSBURY - Mrs. Leonora J. “Lee” (Bearse) Peterson, age 93, passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, June 7, surrounded by her family at Wingate in Andover, after a long period of declining health. She was the beloved wife for 51 years of Ernest J. Peterson Jr., who died November 3, 1997.

She was born in Malden, in February 1922, the only child of the late James and Leonora (Quain) Bearse, and raised in Malden and Everett. After her marriage to “Ernie” they move to Tewksbury in 1957 to raise their young family. In her most recent years she had live in the Carnation Drive Seniors community in Tewksbury.

She worked as a surgical technician at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lowell, and retired from Tewksbury Hospital as an aid in the Nursing Department.

Known for her sweet disposition and love of the big city, Lee spent most of her life living in Tewksbury and became a well-known member of the community. She was often seen cruising up and down Route 38 in her Plymouth Reliant, and years later her Saturn, with the vanity plate “Hunee” – a term of endearment that she and her late husband Ernie used for one another. In her spare time she enjoyed playing bingo and stopping for lunch at the Piccadilly Pub. Lee, along with her beloved Ernie, was active at St. William’s Parish. In her later years, she was a member of the Tewksbury Golden Age Club, A.A.R.P., and enjoyed many friendships and activities at the Tewksbury Senior Center.

She leaves two children and their spouses, Ret. Tewksbury Police Detective Lt. Dennis and his wife Maryanne (Kelly) Peterson of NH, and Therese and her husband David Snodgrass of Tampa, FL; a son-in-law Patrick Earle of Lowell, who was husband of her daughter, the late Judith Earle; seven grandchildren, Patrick Earle Jr. and his wife Karen, Shannon Earle, Amy (Peterson) Aylward and her husband Scott, Dennis J. “D.J.” Peterson Jr. and his wife Ashley, John Peterson, Natalie Snodgrass and David Snodgrass Jr.; seven great grandchildren; and many friends throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Visiting hours Wednesday, June 10, from 4 to 7 in the Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main Sts. (Rte. 38) TEWKSBURY CENTER, Ph. (800 in MA or 978) 851 2950. Her funeral will begin Thursday at 9:00 a.m. from the funeral home, followed by a Funeral Mass Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in St. William’s Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte.38) Tewksbury. Burial will follow at Tewksbury Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Tewksbury Food Pantry, 999 Whipple Road, Tewksbury, MA 01876 will be appreciated. visit

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